I've been hearing a lot about love lately. We throw that word around a lot. Think about it. I love my husband. I love my friends. I love chocolate ice cream. But I don't love my friends the way I love my husband, nor do I love him the way I love ice cream. What then, is love?
Eskimos have more than fifty words for snow. But we English speakers only have one word for love. The Greeks, however, had the right idea because they have at least four words for love. I'm no Greek scholar but it's pretty easy to check these out.
- Phileo - means brotherly or friendship love. William Penn knew this when he named Philadelphia the "city of brotherly love." Basically phileo means a warm, platonic affection toward another person.
- Storge - family affection. The love we have for our kids and close relatives.
- Eros - Sexual love. We get our word erotic from this. Eros was the Greek mythical god of passionate love, sexual love.
- Agape - The highest form of love. Perfect love. The God kind of love. It's a committed, sacrificial love that overlooks faults, that loves no matter what and is freely given. It is the love that never ends, that isn't moved by circumstances, that won't quit when the going gets tough. Agape doesn't divorce or talk ugly or harbor ill feelings. It is the kind of love Jesus has for mankind. Agape took Him to the cross and raised Him from the dead that even those who misuse love for their own gratification can find salvation in Him if they seek it.